By Evan Hamza, December 12, 2017
1. A Festive Classic
Nothing fills one with holiday spirit more than watching a perennial Christmas favourite. This Friday, the Hyland will be screening Frank Capra’s holiday classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life” on 35mm.
Perhaps the most quintessentially Christmassy movie ever made, the story about a suicidal banker whose guardian angel shows him what life would be like without him is sure to bring a tear of joy to even the most miserly of scrooges.
2. A New Classic
Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” gets its very own origin film with “The Man Who Invented Christmas.” Just as the spirits visited Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol,” the characters from the story invade Dickens’ life in this whimsical film about the genesis of a story that would go on to change the way the world viewed Christmas.
The stellar cast features Dan Stevens of “Downton Abbey” as the charismatic young Charles Dickens and Christopher Plummer as a surly imagined Scrooge.
3. Support Canadian Animation
The Angelina Jolie-backed animated film, “The Breadwinner,” made a splash at TIFF this year, generating serious Oscar buzz.
The film, about a girl in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan who is forced to dress as a boy in order to work and support her family, is a Canadian-Irish-Luxembourgian co-production.
4. Aki Kaurismaki’s Final Film
Finland’s best-known director (and also man with really cool name) Aki Kaurismaki is back with his new ultra-cool film, “The Other Side of Hope.” Kaurismaki is famously known for his deadpan and droll tone and “The Other Side of Hope” doesn’t stray too far from that mold.
The film, however, is considered to be his most heartfelt film, as it follows a Syrian refugee trying to make a new life for himself in Finland. The film won the Silver Bear for best direction at Berlin this year.
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Evan Hamza is a London based filmaker, writer, and cinephile.